Five Things to be Thankful for at Work
- The problems that create your job.
The only reason a job—any job—exists is to solve a set of problems.
No problems, no job.
The problem of getting information to your friends and relatives around the world goes away when you have Facebook, email, and Skype—and so go thousands of postal service jobs, too. The problem of making it easier for customers to withdraw money from their account fades when you introduce the ATM—and reduce teller roles.
And when the problems are not clearly defined and measured, such as in the value of leading and managing people, those jobs disappear, too.
So be grateful for the problems that create your job. You can still wish them away, but their presence is your present.
- Your colleagues.
It’s great to have friends at work. Studies have shown that having someone you care about at work is a key contributor to your satisfaction and engagement in the organization.
Human beings are social animals, needing some level of connection with others.
Be thankful for the colleagues around you that really make your days bright.
- Your emotions.
Emotions puts us in motion.
So, rather than hating your emotions at work, being embarrassed by them, or apologizing for them, recognize and appreciate them for what they are—big, flashing, body-shaped signs sending out signals about what’s really going on for you.
It’s outdated advice to believe that we should bypass our emotions in the workplace.
In fact, our hearts, guts and bodies are often trying to tell us what we’re feeling long before our brains register anything that our mouths can put into words.
Paying attention to your emotions can be a huge source of practical, real-life data about what you need to do next. Say thanks to your emotions for being your powerful information station.
- Your competitors.
Yes, even though there may be days when you just wish they’d go away, your competitors can push you, challenge you, and scare you to try new things—things you may not have done otherwise.
Competitors are a great source of data about other ways to do things and different choices to make.
Plus, they continue to create a new set of problems that reinforce the need for your job (see #1).
Be thankful for them, often and always.
(Plus, you never know when a competitor will someday become a coworker or friend.)
Don’t sit down at the holiday table without first saying thanks to the person who can do the most for you at work.
Yes, you—not your leader, your manager, or your mom.
- You are the only one who can get clear on what’s most powerful and amazing about you.
- You are the only one who can build your own confidence and recognize that you make a difference.
- You are the only one who can take control, taking action everyday toward creating the life at work that you want.
And if you haven’t done a great job of that to date, it’s not too late.
Get clear on who you are and what you want!
Engage a mentor or a professional coach.
Don’t give in to the darkness that settles around you when you’re unhappy with your life at work. Get moving to shine a light on the future.